Lighting Ratios - a primer


TPF Noob!
Jun 20, 2003
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...... itinerant ..........
...Peter Adison, a beginner in studio photography and new member at The Photo Forum, requested advice on learning "studio lighting secrets":

I suggested he study "lighting ratios" and Peter asks for a short way to learn this

My response is posted here (in a new thread) to assist visitors using the Site's "Search" function


Although this "studio" topic relates to the most basic of photography's principals, exposure and use of the f-stop, it can be a difficult subject to grasp -- but well worth the effort. Everything learnt from it is directly applicable when shooting outdoors

For those interested in learning about the subject, here are some good places to start:

1. A simple overview & summary of lighting ratios:

2. An excellent introduction to lighting & lighting ratios (recommended):

3. Free On-line course:

Note ~ although these articles relate to video & cinema-photography, the lighting principals are identical for conventional photography & studio lighting

* Hard & Soft Lighting:

* Colour Temperature Issues:

* Controlling Intensity:

* Lighting Instruments:

* The Key Light:

* Fill, Back & Background Lights:

* Lighting Ratios:

* Special Lighting Situations:

* Altering Appearances:

* Lighting, some final Issues:



Great post! Lots of wonderful information for anyone in photography.

Before I got into photography, I was into 3D modelling and rendering. I learned a LOT about lighting and lighting ratios. But it's mostly in concept because I don't know the specifics of real life lighting ratios. That's where your post becomes very valuable to me. Thanks!
Dear e_ ,

Thank you for help with these great informations that I couldn`t find by alone. - designed fo television students is a great site even for photographers.
If you know good sites like this, please don`t hesitate to tell us.

Best wishes,


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